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Chapter 7

“Why have you come again? You said you would be back when your payment was due,” questioned Voldermont, rising from his chair. The same old woman he had met a month before drifted silently into his study, her gray hair tied tightly on the top of her head.

“Oh, I never said that, Tom, you just assumed I wouldn’t be back and I didn’t say anything to stray you from that idea.” The woman sat down in a chair and looked towards the blazing fire in the corner. “I have come to ask you how everything is going. My superiors are seeing things.”

“If your superiors are seeing things then they should know young Malfoy is getting the job done. Already he has formed a truce with Miss. Granger and a friendship is growing as we speak.” Voldermont smirked, walking around his desk. Without looking into her mind, not that he could if he tried, Voldermont could tell she didn’t trust him. This woman thought he would fail in his task and it angered him to even think that. “Why do you seem so concerned?”

“Tom, what we are creating is not something easily messed with nor controlled. Love is a force more formidable than any other. It obviously cannot be seen or touched, but its power can transform anyone and show them something that they hadn’t known existed in the first place.” The woman stood, walking over to the fire just as she had done on her first visit and looked back at Voldermont, with dark and emotionless eyes.

Voldermont wanted to respond with her name, but still he didn’t know it. He knew this woman as a seer, a strong witch, who is helping him with his cause. The things she knew, the things that she had told him, made Tom see how powerful she truly was. Now, she was speaking cryptically again and it only fueled his frustration. “What possibly could you be talking about? Ms. Granger is suppose to fall in love with Draco.”

“We are not speaking about Ms. Granger, Tom. Ms. Granger’s emotions are exactly as they should be.” Waving her hand over the fire it rose going up the chimney. Voldermont watched in fascination until he realized what she meant.

“You must be seeing something wrong, that could never happen. I picked him because there was no chance he could fall in love with her.” Voldermont stood up and walked towards her, but she held up her hand and looked him dead in the eye.

“I did not say he was in love with Ms. Granger…but from what I am seeing she is teaching him things. Things that have him questioning his ideas, the way he looks at things. Mr. Malfoy is still the strong-headed arrogant young man he was a month or two ago, but now questions are entering his head. The way I see it, if questions are entering it’s only a matter of time until some sort of emotion does.” Bringing the tip of her hood up and covering her head she started to walk past Voldermont.

“Woman, young Malfoy knows I would kill him if he did.” Even as he said it, Voldermont knew that wouldn’t stop Draco. The boy was stubborn yes, but insanely loyal to those he loved. His mother had taught him that…she was the only one he loved.

“Tom, the boy will have to die after my payment is final. Either that or he must be broken to the point that these emotions are stripped bare from him. The decision in the end is up to you.” With that the woman walked out of the room, leaving the door open behind her.

Voldermont sat in his office his mind drifting back from the memories of the past night. Lucius had talked to Draco and learned of a kiss, a kiss shared when Ms. Granger was most vulnerable. This was a great advancement…so why was he sitting here regretting that action? Draco was getting the job done, but that stupid old woman had gotten into his head. Tom was questioning every action he was doing all because of a puzzling talk.

At Hogwarts

“Ron, will you please stop pouting I can’t eat a thing,” snapped Ginny, slapping down her fork on the plate and glaring at her older brother. This whole situation between him and Hermione was getting ridiculous. Harry and her both knew Hermoine didn’t hold any feeling towards her brother, but Ron, being Ron, of course hadn’t realized it.

“Yeah, Mate, it’s been like a week since she said she didn’t love you like that. Can’t you just forgive her and accept that she loves you as a friend.” Harry patted his friend sympathetically on the shoulder and rolled his eyes at Ginny.

“I know that isn’t what’s bugging me though. Have you noticed how strange she has acted since I told her?” Ron pushed his food away and looked towards the door, his eyes widening. Ginny and Harry both looked up and saw an approaching figure with long curly brown hair and a handful of books. “Here she is now. Hello, Hermoine.”

“Hey, ‘Moine,” both Harry and Ginny said in unison, pushing down the bench to make room for her.

“Hi, guys,” she greeted, taking a seat with a smile. Even though her face held a smile her eyes darted constantly towards the door at the front of the Hall. “How was your day so far? Happy it’s lunch?”

“Of course, ‘Moine,” laughed Ginny, “It’s the boys favorite class of the day, you know that. How is planning the Winter Ball going?”

At the mention of the Ball Hermoine tensed up and looked quickly back towards the door. Shrugging casually and taking a piece of bread in front of her she responded, “Oh, you know a little of this, a little of that.”

Ginny glanced surprisingly at Harry and half-smiled. “That’s wonderful…any plans for tonight?”

“I, umm…,” Hermione stopped talking as the door to the dining area opened and starred intently at the door. Ginny could see the relief when two-second years came in laughing about something or another. “No, Gin’, I’m not doing anything. I have some homework that I must finish promptly and helping Snape clean out his potion closet…I think he has taken a liking to me, oh and of course talking with Flitch about going into the basement to find things for the Winter Ball.”

“No,” mumbled Ron, nudging Harry in the side, “That’s not doing anything at all.” Harry snorted, but covered it up with stuffing his mouth with food.

Ginny glared at both Ron and Harry as she turned back towards Hermione, once again seeing her eye the entrance. “If you have time Luna and Jean were coming to the common room for some good old girl fun. You are more than welcomed.”

“Oh, thanks, Gin,” said Hermione, grabbing some food and putting it on a plate. “I’m absolutely starved.” Picking up her fork Hermione went to dig in when the voice she had been avoiding, the one voice that caused her shake, appeared out of nowhere.

“Granger!” Hermione turned around, hoping she had imagined the whole thing completely, but was met with the sight of Draco Malfoy, followed by Blaise Zamboni. They were just entering the hall. “We need to talk, now!”

“Oh, I’m sorry, Gin’, Harry, Ronald,” she said, nodding her head and jumping up from the seat, practically falling over. “I’m suddenly not hungry and I just remember I must go visit that…person to discuss something.” Hermione took off in the opposite direction of Draco and Blaise.

“Hermione,” yelled Ginny, jumping up, “You just said you were starved!” Hermione didn’t answer as she did a 180 and disappeared into a crowd of students.

“I told you she was acting strange,” muttered Ron, pushing his food around. “Ever since I told her she has been doing that every now and then. During class she would suddenly disappear or she came to watch Quidditch, you know that time when the Slytherin’s came and wanted the field, and she disappeared.” Ginny wasn’t listening to Ron though her eyes traveled from the spot where Hermione had just been to the approaching figures. This was very strange…strange indeed.

“Weaselette, where’s Granger?,” snapped Malfoy, looking around.

“You mean the Mudblood?” Ginny looked at Malfoy carefully as his face faltered for a second in confusion, but then he finally nodded his head annoyed. “She just left. You have missed her.” Malfoy growled underneath his breath, mumbling something and turned and left.

Before he completely walked away he turned back to Ginny, frowning, “If you see her; tell her we need to talk.” With that Blaise and him walked out of the Hall, leaving a confused Ginny.

Heads Common Room
12: 30 a.m.
That night

Dear Riley,

How is everything at home? I miss you so much…I wish you could come visit me, but we both know you can’t. Hey, only two more years and you will probably get a letter inviting you here! How are mom and dad? You better be doing all of your schoolwork. When I get home for Christmas break and we get to be together I promise I will take you shopping and we’ll make cookies with Mom. I have any idea for mom and dad’s gift by the way. I say we send them on a second honeymoon. I’m sure Gram will help us pay for it, and we both know how much they need it. I love you! Write soon!

Love, Hermione xoxoxo

Hermione looked back at the parchment and smiled, biting back tears. She hadn’t seen her sister for almost two months and rarely spoke with her. Riley was only nine, but she was Hermione’s best friend in the world…besides for Harry, Ron, and Ginny of course. Hermione was responsible for her when her parents went away on conferences and such during the summer, and they constantly had smores and movie nights that lasted way past bedtime.

“Dobby,” she called folding the letter up and fitting it neatly into an envelope. Suddenly, a pop could be heard and a small house elf appeared, smiling widely at Hermione. “Now, Dobby, I know it’s late, but would you mind sending this letter. It’s going to my sister back home.”

“Yes, Miss. Hermoine, Dobby would lov’ too send the letter. It would be Dobby’s pleasure.” Dobby jumped up and down excited at his new job and took the letter as Hermione handed it to him. “Thank you, Miss., Dobby will make sure it’s sent tonight!” By the time Hermione went to respond Dobby had already popped away and she was left alone in the Head Common Room once again.
Just as she was about to stand up arms wrapped around her waist and a strong hand covered her mouth. Hermione kicked her feet trying to find an escape, but knowing this person behind her was much stronger then her made efforts useless. Their grip didn’t hurt, but simply kept her from running away. As she dug her nails into their arm she saw blood start to form, but their grip didn’t loosen; it actually tightened.

“Granger, you’re being barbaric!,” hissed a voice in her ear, making her freeze. She should of known it was him, they and the teachers were the only ones who knew about the room. Since his hand still covered her mouth she couldn’t respond; instead she stopped struggling. “Good, now I’m going to uncover your mouth, but still not let you go. We need to talk and I can’t take you running away from me.” Slowly he uncovered her mouth knowing that an angry rant was awaiting him, but once again Hermione Granger surprised him and remained silent and limp in his arms. “Are you alive?”

Hermione huffed, shaking her head annoyed. “Was there a need to sneak up on me at night when I was peaceful and about to go to bed, Malfoy? Couldn’t we have done this in the morning?”

Malfoy turned her around in his arms and looked at her face, which was facing her feet. “No, because you would just run away like you have all week long. I know you’re afraid of me, but Merlin Granger couldn’t you have at least looked at me?”

She stayed silent for a long time, but finally spoke almost in a whisper. “I’m not afraid of you, Malfoy. I could never be afraid of a ferret, they are so small and insignificant.”

The words stung, but Malfoy’ face didn’t show any emotion as he raised Hermione’s face making her fierce brown eyes begin a battle with his. Merlin, this woman was infuriating! “Must you be so immature?”

Crossing her arms on her stomach Hermione frowned. “I am not immature.”

“Right,” he said, finally letting his grip on her loosen a bit. “Why have you been avoiding me, Granger?”
Her stubbornness kicked in again as she tried to pull away from him, but his grip tightened again making her face him completely. Their bodies were meshed together to the point of being one, and Hermione couldn’t lie to herself. The feeling made her extremely uncomfortable, but on the other side it excited her; with that realization she knew she had finally lost her mind. Sleep, sleep was calling to her and to sleep she needed to get away from this large, over-bearing, piece of Malfoy that was in front of her.

“Let me go, Malfoy,” she hissed, looking around for her wand. Draco knew what she was doing and smirked knowing that her wand was in his pocket. The idiot of a girl left it on the table.

“Granger, please, can we talk,” Draco asked, practically biting his tongue as the word ‘please’ escaped it. Did he actually just ask her nicely? Merlin, what was his girl teaching him…politeness or worse niceness!

Hermione was just as surprised at his ‘please’, maybe even a bit more then he was himself. Looking intently at him she raised her eyebrow. “Malfoy, what are you playing at?”

If only she knew exactly what he was playing at, and what he was playing for… “Granger, why have you been avoiding me? We needed to talk and you disappear every time I come in a twenty foot radices.”

“Why,” she yelled, pushing away from him abruptly, “you kissed me when I was completely not myself! You took advantage of a situation that, for some reason, I trusted you with. It was my own ignorance that I thought you had changed. That because we have been civil you were actually a friend, a small friend, but a friend nonetheless.”

Malfoy let his arms drop from around her, as Hermione took deep breathes trying to calm herself. “I was your friend?”

“Well, Malfoy, I know this is a new emotion, but when you are nice to someone and they are nice to you; they start forming something that’s called a friendship. I might despise you, but you were nice and making an effort and I appreciated it. Everyone should be given a second chance.”

“How is it your always so damn nice?” Maybe those weren’t the best words to say, but it was the only thing Draco Malfoy was thinking as he stood in front of Hermoine Granger…how is it this girl gave him a second chance? Why would she? Was she really that gullible to him?

As Hermione starred at Malfoy a smile played on her lips as she tried to stand her ground. Suddenly a laugh escaped her mouth, and her hand covered it immediately. Malfoy looked down at her as her face fought to keep hold of the serious emotion, but failed miserably as she burst out laughing. “Malfoy how is it you always know what to say to get yourself out of trouble?”

Malfoy squinted his eyes at her in confusion then finally did something Hermoine wasn’t expecting. Malfoy laughed. It wasn’t a terribly big laugh nor was it a loud one, but as Malfoy stood in front of her, laughing, Hermione couldn’t help but smile. “I have never seen you honestly laugh before, Malfoy. It’s refreshing to know you have a heart.” The moment the words came out of her mouth Draco sobered completely, a small smile the only evidence the laugh really happened.

“I have a heart, Granger, everyone does.” Malfoy turned away from her and walked over to the fireplace. “You said before that you and I were forming a sort of ‘friendship’ correct?” His mind was racing as a sudden plan formed, a plan that would make his father extremely happy.

“Yes, I did, but that was before you broke it by taking advantage of me when I was not myself,” she snapped, walking towards him, but taking a seat on the couch.

Malfoy stroked his chin slowly as his mind processed all his thoughts and when he did turn back to Granger he knew what was going to happen. “I want you to give me another chance.”

“A chance,” Hermione asked slowly, making sure she understood correctly. Draco Malfoy wanted a chance of being her friend. “You want a chance to be my friend?”

“Merlin, Granger, I’m not begging you to be my friend, I have plenty. What I am asking is for what we had, a truce so to speak, before the event that took place last week. Do we have an agreement?” This sounded like a contract something that bonded them together, an agreement that set a new day between them and a new slat for him. Draco needed this he needed to get back on track with gaining her trust and making her love him.

She sat there pondering the idea of actually becoming friends with Malfoy, the young man she had hated with a passion since she set a foot in Hogwarts. How could so much change in one year? “A truce, a truce that makes us act decent to one another when in public and occasionally nice outside public?”

“Granger, we are acting decently to one another right now and neither of us is dropping dead from it. So, yes, I suppose that is what I’m asking.” Malfoy tapped his foot on the ground, how long would it take for her just say yes?

“Why,” Hermione questioned, standing up in front of him. “Why now?”

“Because,” answered Malfoy, taking a deep breathe, “Everyone deserves a second chance.” Waiting for her answer wasn’t easy, all he wanted at that moment was for her to say yes. It would make everything so much easier. As she took her grand old time answering Malfoy surveyed the girl in front of him. She wasn’t the most beautiful girl he had ever seen, but surprisingly not the ugliest either. Her teeth weren’t that big anymore, and her forehead finally fit her face. Maybe this plan wouldn’t be that hard after all…she actually sort of…pretty? Shaking his head his attention went back to the girl in front of him who was starring at him intently.


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